Vettel leads Abu Dhabi FP1

Sebastian Vettel laid down the gauntlet for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, by setting the fastest time in Friday Practice 1 today. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were 2nd and 3rd, followed by Mark Webber.

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest in FP1

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest in FP1

The session began on a damp track, but it dried out throughout the day. However, the first half an hour was a waste for many, as the drivers sat in the garages waiting for the track to clear. In fact, it took until 50 minutes in for the fast laps to began to be set.

Robert Kubica was 5th, and Fernando Alonso 6th. The Mercedes and Sauber drivers filled the top 10.

Felipe Massa was 11th, and 2.4 seconds off the pace of the leaders. Having said that though, he was forced to abort one of his runs after a problem with the car’s telemetry data, meaning that the team wouldn’t have been able to fully collect data if he had continued.

Rubens Barrichello was 13th, despite stopping out on track. He still managed to beat his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg by 1.2 seconds.

Timo Glock led the way at the back, just ahead of Jarno Trulli, who in turn was nearly a second faster than Lucas di Grassi. Bruno Senna beat Christian Klien by 7 tenths, while Fairuz Fauzy, who replaced Heikki Kovalainen for FP1, was last, and despite setting more laps than most of the new teams, was 8.9 seconds off the pace. However, it was reported that the Lotus was experiencing overheating problems.

Times from FP1:

Pos.
Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’42.760 18
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’43.369 0.609 16
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’43.785 1.025 19
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’43.840 1.080 19
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1’44.080 1.320 19
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’44.121 1.361 17
7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’44.199 1.439 19
8 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’44.604 1.844 18
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’44.718 1.958 19
10 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’44.737 1.977 19
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’45.160 2.400 18
12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’45.445 2.685 21
13 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’45.474 2.714 15
14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’45.552 2.792 20
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’45.585 2.825 14
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’46.003 3.243 20
17 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’46.664 3.904 19
18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’47.105 4.345 22
19 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’48.450 5.690 19
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’48.472 5.712 17
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’49.375 6.615 13
22 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’49.590 6.830 18
23 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’50.274 7.514 17
24 Fairuz Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth 1’51.705 8.945 18
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